Monday, 27 December 2010

Returning, tail between legs.

I am a terrible human being, I know. I have left my blog to die while I have been out enjoying myself. Oh, the humanity! From now on, I must sort my life out and stop being ridiculous and start managing my time ten times better. To be fair, since winning the Endsleigh blog competition, I have fervently been writing all about my 'university experience' for them and therefore have found no time to handle two blogs. Excuses, excuses...

To get back into the swing of things, I thought I could cheat and post the blog I used as my most recent offering for Endsleigh. That's right, you are getting sloppy seconds. Apologies. But I feel it needs to be said - it's another one of my tirades against whatever has irritated me that week, on this occasion being Christmas. Bah, humbug. Here you are:

Seasons greetings! Hope everyone’s had a very merry Christmas and had a lovely few days of excessive eating/drinking/present opening/game playing/family arguing and the like.
It’s been the typically mad Green House this year, providing many a laugh and many a pig-in-blanket, with the usual 4 hour present unwrapping extravaganza (my father playing the quite sensationally over-exuberant Father Christmas while I helped him as a begrudging elf),  followed by the men of the family falling asleep as we watch the festive editions of Come Dine With Me/Doctor Who/The Royal Family. Standard.
This year however, I could not help but feel a pang of guilt as I revealed a brand new thermos/ pair of pyjamas/ electric blanket/ bottle of perfume. These are all things that I requested and felt I needed but on reflection, I’m seriously questioning this. I already have perfume, pyjamas, perfectly ample mugs and several duvets to keep me warm. As I watched my 11 person family (mother, father, brother, brother’s galpal, aunt, 2 uncles, 2 cousins, cousin’s boypal) open what must have been several thousand pounds worth of beautiful gifts, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a touch obscene. I loved all of my gifts, deeply appreciating the thought that went into them and I will reap much satisfaction, enjoyment and comfort from each of them; equally, I loved finding gifts to suit each family member and watching their gratified faces upon opening them. But somewhere lingering in the back of my mind is this thought: We already have houses stuffed to the rafters of possessions. We are each surrounded by 10 people who love us. Any earthly possession that we require has been kindly provided for us. …Do we really need any more? Is it not enough to be united in a warm and comfortable house and eat a delicious, stomach-achingly huge lunch? It breaks my heart to think of those suffering during the festive season. Those who have been thrown from their homes, cradling themselves in foetal position to shield themselves from the snow. Those who have fled their houses from someone domestically abusing them, sparing no time to take luxuries or sentimental objects. Those on all corners of the earth who are starving and cannot keep themselves or their children alive because of the insufferable conditions put upon them by poverty and famine. It’s enough to put you off your mince pies. As I sat reflecting, thinking of what all this money could have done, I must have let my face drop for a moment or two. My mother’s response to my perceived glumness was to ask me if I was feeling blue because I hadn’t received as many presents as my other family members. Her concern was sweet but the meaning behind what she said left me even more disillusioned and troubled. Am I potentially somebody who could be ‘disappointed’ because I only received approximately £300 worth of gifts? Is that commonly regarded as something that warrants being ‘blue’?
Maybe, just maybe, for one single year, we should put all the money together that would have otherwise been spent on lavish gifts. Put the money into a big pot. Divide it several times over and dole out to some of the worthy causes in the world. And feel the full force of magic at Christmas. My family alone could probably generate a few grand. Now there’s an idea.
Hugely considering taking this stance for next year’s festive season: any money you would have spent on me, give to a charity of my choosing, and I will do likewise for you. Nothing is stopping me except my family’s inevitable reaction: they already find most of my views laughable and baffling (namely feminism), this may be a step too far in terms of their acceptance. Well, screw it, I’ve gone this far…

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bloggers' Comp Cont.

I won! Huzzah!

So somebody has decided that I can blog well. What a bizarre thought. No idea what the bloody hell I'm going to be writing about but if I write about complete toss once a week for six weeks I get 150 squids worth of Argooos vouchers and if I get all the way to Christmas without being fired for being a fraud, I'll get that plus another 150 of Waterstones vouchers.

Christmas is going to be an absolute bargain. WIN.
Watch this space for links to the new blog. What shall I call it? Not sure how well 'femmefatale' would go down - feminism being "unattractive" and all. That's a chin scratcher..

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bloggers' Comp.

I'm sure this isn't what they're looking for but it has to be about 'university'... This is what university has been for me, I'm sure someone out there would find it relatively bemusing, if not entertaining. Meh, we shall see. I've been short-listed for a blogging competition and this is my final piece of submitted writing - I will be watching this space.

University thus far:

Years completed: 1
Years passed: (miraculously) 1
Years pending: 2 or 3 depending on whether I'm mad enough to do an MA.
Likelihood of said occurrence happening due to severe lack of funds: slim to none
Friends acquired: somewhere near 200 - thanks Facebook
Friends I will cherish forever: 5-10
Friends I will cherish forever: 3
Plays performed: 2
Plays performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and hailed by The Stage magazine: 1
Books read: 14
Favourite: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea
Messy nights out in Southampton leading to declarations of love/waking to find perplexing bruises in unlikely places/ whole days of bread and butter diets: unknown
Prime Ministers irritated: 1
BBC political pundits shamelessly partaking in what can only be described as 'flirting' with me: 2
Poet Laureates adored, met and promptly embarrassed myself in front of: 1

Could all of that have really happened to me? The ridiculous girl with curly hair and tatty cardigan, most likely to be spotted at the library or behind the counter at a chippy in Dorset? Apparently so.

Bring on second year where grades matter, bills don't pay themselves, houses don't clean themselves, feminist societies don't run themselves, unsettling themes manifest themselves... evil corporations need boycotting, plays need directing, English degrees need taking seriously, (and therefore) copious amounts of books need reading, new dubstep needs daddy long-legs dancing to, new episodes of The Inbetweeners/ Jeremy Kyle need watching and above all, fun will undoubtedly be prevailing.

Let the good times proverbially roll.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Beatify This

... Has he left yet?

Holy Hell, I hope so.

I'm sick of the Beeb's top news story of every day being Pope-related. I would much prefer to hear about Russell Brand's 'citizen arrest' or the axing of toilets on trains. I feel these stories truly have a comment to make on the society of today and bear greater relevance to 21st century life than Catholicism.

Being arrested for pushing a photographer who was attempting to pap a pic of your fiancée's privates, for example, says a huge amount about social boundaries, the desperate sexualisation of celebrity women and the death of chivalry, to name but a few issues. I think more can be learnt from this than the ramblings of an old man in a dress (who advocates condoms being 'unholy' and therefore actively encourages the spread of AIDS and multiplication of population in vulnerable over-crowded third world countries). And as for toilets no longer being a necessity on trains - what a hot topic. Are we really becoming that country, where people simply cannot and will not hold their bladders for one measly hour? And we become irrationally outraged that our birth-born human right of being able to urinate as and when we damn well please is flogged to spare expense? The expense being toilets which are almost instantly disgusting and riddled with complaints and upturned noses? The issue here is that this is classed an issue. The experience is always prickly: my arms are never long enough to be able to wee comfortably while holding the door firmly shut to protect my dignity. This leads to a forced wee, a red face and the onset of panic, which is hard to shake until I have returned to my seat, blushing, and stick my head in my book, as though I have done something shameful. Not to mention my thighs - I will of course be doing all of this hovering. Scrap the toilets and hold it in - it's character building.

But I digress - as I said, these issues are far more burning (insert witty call-back to do with urinating here) than a visit from a man who is key speaker for a religion which is constantly abusing its children, condemns any women who chose to abort (and most other women for that matter) and spurns homosexuals. Moral leader or corrupt dictator?

And what's with his right-hand-man calling Britain a "third world country"? Ouch. When the Pope's hoes issued an explanation, I was expecting something along the lines of airports/chaotic/disorganised etc, which would have been an inappropriate and insensitive analogy but would have disguised a racial slur as being impersonal and misunderstood. But no, the reference was indeed candidly referring to the multiculturalism of Britain. Oh right, so it was in fact a horribly ignorant remark implying anybody not Caucasian should belong to an impoverished country? Affirmative.

Crikey, I hope they come back super soon for more words of wisdom.

For anyone with similar sentiments, or perhaps not -
Stephen Fry kicks Catholic arse and does it insanely articulately

Third-world England

Paedophilia "petty gossip"

Opposition in great numbers, at last

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A few more disparaging words: Morrissey

What on earth is wrong with me, I'm taking all of this terribly to heart today.

Morrissey. You are a genius. You are an icon and a hero, a preacher and a rebel. You are admired by young and old and your voice has defined the fractious, cynical state of minds of so many of us. With you, our thoughts are reinforced, not left to go stale or brood alone. You are sensitive and crass, passionate and ambivalent. Your music is deeply textured, rich, personal and universal, rooted somewhere in the grass of my back garden of summer 2007 and thousands of other back gardens in plenty of other years. You leave a taste in my mouth I cannot quite define.

But come along now, stop being such a provocative c*nt. You're old, you should know better. Buy another cat and get over yourself.

"The joke isn't funny any more; it's too close to home and it's too near the bone"

A few disparaging words: Wayne Rooney.

My dad works on a building site and the company assume that all builders like to read either The Sun or the classier option, The Star, so they produce them for the bargain price of just 20 fine English pennies. My father opts for the latter and tries to ignore the silicone breasts staring up at him, looking for something slightly more savoury to entertain him on his hour's lunch break while he eats the packed lunch my mother has prepared for him the night before. Two sandwiches, one Penguin, one packet of crisps, a banana/pear, a stray mince-pie or other left-over festive treat and the Sports section. Riveting stuff. He then folds up the newspaper-that-should-be-used-as-toilet-roll, chucks it in the back of the van, and presents it at 5:15pm to his disdainful daughter to secrete until the time comes when she makes her big page three collage ('What is sexuality?' or something similar) to display at her university's bunfight, the FemSoc offering for the day.

But today I had to indulge in pages four, five and six - the front page's dazzlingly witty title was simply irresistible "GET OUT WAYNE, ROO DIRTY RAT" (the comma was of my own providing, it doesn't really make sense without). On reading, I was genuinely horrified. And not just by the atrocious witch-hunt-esque journalism, would you believe! The article was deeply saddening, revealing that if Coleen chose to divorce him, he could stand to lose 100million in a court settling, with him almost certainly being dropped from sponsors. Yikes! That's the real tragedy of the story. Not the fact that a 24 year old mother of one was repeatedly cheated on by her childhood sweetheart and partner of eight years, while she was six months pregnant with his baby.
Perhaps Wayne thought that Coleen had put on a few pounds with all the baby stuff and he felt, him being so attractive and charming and all, he could get it elsewhere while fatty stayed at home. But no, not even regular women want to sleep with Wayne it seems, hence why he was willing to spend £1200 a night to sleep with this classy bird. Because saving for your child's future is just silly anyway.

I'm not going to lie - I love Coleen. 'Coleen's Real Women' was a cracking series and actually condoned being bigger than a size 10 and being taken seriously as a model for charisma and natural beauty, not your breasts. Not to mention the fact that it was generally just a thoroughly humorous, engaging and enjoyable programme.

My approval of Coleen is possibly the reason why this has moved me more than all the other cheating scandals of the football squad - that and the fact that the grimacing, illiterate bastard had genuinely convinced me that he was an alright kinda guy. Now I feel a fool - how can anyone trust a man who at the tender age of 16 paid to sleep with a 47 year old prostitute? I thought perhaps the sudden influx of money and stardom had gone to his virginal head but nay, it seems that footballers cannot change their stripes. I should have known.

Divorce the shmuck, Coleen. And as for you Wayne: I know it's difficult to understand, but women aren't like football teams. You can't trade them off against each other for vast sums of money. A tricky life lesson, I'm sure.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Fringey Farewell

And so we face our final curtain.

Last performance of Bliss yesterday. I am infinitely depressed. *Sob sob*. Luckily, it may have been our last but also one of our best - we acted/ sang/ celloed/ abused our little hearts out and were rewarded with a tantalised audience. As a character who is more metaphorical than physical (or something), I get the treat of looking out into the audience at various stages in the play, to creep people out, 'break the fourth wall' and what not. You know how it is. And looking into their faces, I could tell that people were genuinely repulsed. Success! One woman was actually watching through her splayed fingers, as if we were presenting her with a grotesque horror film. I mean, I know paedophilia and miscarrying is unpleasant but come along now, woman up! I doubt I'll ever be in such a play again, such obscene theatre rarely proves to be wholly popular. Bliss is hardly a crowd-pleaser. But in a strangely disquieting way, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. What this says about me, I'm unwilling to recognise.

You'll never guess who I met yesterday. Only one of my favourite three women ever! That's right, you've guessed it - Carol Ann Duffy! Good grief, was I excited. The lovely Miss Cutting and I went to see her show, assuming that Cazza had just written the poetry for it and wouldn't actually be there, but alas! Turns out she is quite the thesp. It was a charming children's show called The Princess' Blanket, incorporating art, poetry, narrative, music and a Scotsman playing a bizarre array of medieval wooden instruments to a hilariously good standard. Laughs ahoy. I practically bent poor Hannah's ear off with my incessant twitters of apprehension and excitement over our impending one on one. After the show, I bought a poetry collection of hers (I already have most of the material but I like to consolidate) and waited in the queue for her to sign it for me, practising all the uber cool and casual ways I could tell her I loved her without sounding like a psycho. But nay, alas, at the crucial moment, my emotions got the better of me and I ended up just blurting those dangerous three words to the unsuspecting poet. She considered me, this ridiculous rosy-cheeked teenage girl in a purple tatty cardigan, and said what nobody wants to hear having just announced to someone that they love them: "thank you". Personally, I thought it was an apt response. She could have told me to fuck off, after all, and I wouldn't have been remotely surprised. We actually managed to have a relatively casual conversation after that initial verbal catastrophe and I invited her to Southampton to speak for us (FemSoc/EngSoc - the perfect combination). And she was well up for it! Hurrah! Note to self: actually attempt to prepare something sophisticated to say. I have approximately five months to do so, if all goes to plan, so I may just about manage it.

Of my favourite three I now have just one to go. If anyone knows of Emma Thompson's whereabouts, I'd be much obliged. Unfortunately I'll never have the complete set - R.I.P Virginia.

Back to Southampton at silly o' clock tomorrow. Hello another 12 hours on a mini-bus. Back to life, back to reality. Lame.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Fringing Part Two (in a Scottish accent)

This week at the fringe has been amazing; too many anecdotes to recount so general update will suffice.

Shows seen so far: 26
Of which were bad: 0
Of which were beyond brilliant: 2
Performances of Bliss completed: 5
Impending performances: 2
Mood in relation to previous statement: Not good
Bliss reviews: 2
Of which were good: 1
Number of idiotic, ignorant and philistinistic reviewers who need to learn how to spell, amongst other things: 1
Number of words in previous statement which don't exist: 1

In other news, I have finally seen some of Belt Up's offerings. Verdict: mixed. Their vision of Kafka's Metamorphosis was undeniably excellent and their inventiveness is incredible. What I do not appreciate however, is that they offer their company to mere mortals like us for the small price of £5, and then continue to ignore and patronise us with lines like "Ha! It's like they're a paying audience" followed by mocking jazz hands. You are our age and have no more talent than us, simply a bigger budget and bigger egos. Get over yourselves. The shows are undoubtedly some of the best student productions at the Fringe and secretly I'm wishing I'd gone to York university so I could have been involved in this unholy amount of success but they really need to remember who they are. Stop being douche-bags!

This is a rather rushed and incomplete blog as I am hurrying to get to a show: we're seeing Studio 54 tonight and after all I have heard, if I don't see something laugh-out-loudably shambolic, I will be most disappointed. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


So. The "seven hour" mini bus trip turned out to be heinously understated in relation to duration. We left sunny Southampton (after the gruelling few hours it took to load our already rather dishevelled buses) at approximately 9pm and 'arrived' in Edinburgh at near enough 7am. You do the math. To make matters worse/more hilarious/exhausting/anecdote-worthy, I use the term 'arrive' to denote our ridiculous entrance into Edinburgh which consisted of burning out the clutch, kangaroo hopping our way through the Scottish streets for about a mile with the horrendous stench of whatever burning out a clutch smells like, all before rolling to a halt in a parking space several yards from Costa. So I guess it could have been worse: We could have been a few yards from a (insert undesirable establishment here). For me, that would have been a Lidl.

But all is well now we're here in the Highlands! It's been absolutely amazing; the company is top notch and there's culture coming out of my arse. It's hard to shake the ominous feeling that when all this comes to a grinding halt, I will most certainly be depressed. I await that day soberly. But apart from performing that's pretty much the only sober thing about the visit so far. We have been having a whale of a time. Amongst Theatre Group, I find myself the victim of mob mentality. For example, for the first time in my life, I was actually thrown out of a club the other night. Well, the collective 'we' were thrown out which was entirely the fault of the raucous Nick Jones, but still, I was part of the tribe asked to leave and it was all very exciting.

We had our first show today and after the dreadful dress rehearsal, we weren't expecting much; we over-ran (if you do this in Edinburgh you either get thrown out of the venue prematurely or fined ten pounds per overrunning minute, so this was obviously disasterous - hypothetically we were £40 poorer ), we had silk cloth issues, we missed cues... This is what happens when you have been up causing riots at clubs the night before. As Jonny would say "bad news". But as they say, if the dress rehearsal is a flop, the opening night will be tremendous!... or something along those lines. And tremendous it was. We had an audience of about 50 which for a university production with no reviews on the first day is pretty bloody grand. And of that 50 there must have been at least 15 paying punters, so we're off to a good start! Roll on the odd days. (And of course the even - sorry Swann)

I have seen some truly excellent productions since being here. I have no idea who would read this ridiculous blog and if there would be anyone but my selective few pals, but if you are in Edinburgh and have time to see some shows, I would highly recommend the following: A Midsummer Night's Madness (sounds like total bollocks, I know - we actually just went so we could pish and tush over how our MSND was far superior, but in actual fact, it was a vibrant, eccentric and totally original piece, consisting of stunning choreography and a Greek girl who made me a touch weak at the knees. Well worth it for her alone), Carnivale (experience rather than 'play'), Fair Trade (Emma Thompson aka my favourite woman in the world, produced this. She never ceases to amaze) and The Noise Next Door (hilarious bunch of young guns doing snappy and improv comedy with audience suggestion taking the main role. Very impressive).

I anxiously await the next few days: Nile's visit, Belt-Up's various offerings, more performance and a whole lot of rejection (of the flyering variety). I'm sure I'll struggle on.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Blissful Reunion

Ahh to be back in Southampton! What larks.
My life has been the most hectic it has been in a long time (due to lack of academic involvement and easy kiosk living), as I allow Bliss to take over. What a few weeks we have had. The manic preparation of play has fully seized my life in the tightest of grips, with an average of 8 hour days, 7 days a week. Not a trifling commitment, I tell you that for free. But golly, is it worth it. The production has gone from a miss-mash of sparse lines, hummed songs and "we'll sort it later" mentality to an almost reviewably perfect performance of clarity, charm and (if I say so myself) utter excellence. I'm extremely proud.

Just a few more days now until the big night: on Friday July 30th, Bliss hits Southampton as a warm-up before the Big Scottish Smoke. I'd love it if you could be there. Our lovely directors, Ritu and Jilna have put more effort into this play than I'm likely to put into my entire degree: it is their glorious baby and their meticulous management has created a masterpiece (please excuse the alliteration, I've been acting all day - it makes me heinously wordy). Plus, to top it all off, I now have slightly more confidence in my sub-standard soprano; I accidentally told them during the audition that I could sing (with encouragement) which lead to the panicked realisation that they would actually believe me and set me the grand feat of warbling Celine Dion songs. You can imagine the anguish. But with the delightful Sophie Paterson at my side and a (very loud) cello on the other, I am feeling almost comfortable. The Calamity Jane days of slapping my thighs and sing/shouting the songs are a thing of the past and the new-wave of dulcet and sultry tones is upon me. I prey.

We will also be showcasing our other SUSU TG play, Swann and Co. on Friday 30th, which is set to be a comical experience of epic proportions, written and directed by the wonderful Alexis Forss. Not to be missed.

Edinburgh is looming: less than a week till 30ish thesps share a seven hour mini-bus ride together. I'd say that would push our friendships to the limit but to be fair, I've seen two cast members metaphorically rape a third with a pepsi bottle, so I think we're way beyond that point.

Check us out: @BlissCvenues via twitter / search BlissEdinburgh via facebook

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A Roof of One's Own

What a satisfying and triumphant feeling it is to be able to hustle my meddling parents out the door, with a variation of the line held over my undeniably defeated head for almost two entire decades: "This is my house, thanks very much." Brilliant.

I have officially become a woman. I didn't know when the day would come and what seemingly momentous occasion the feeling would follow but now I know. It is moving into your own house. In the last few days, I have shamelessly ravaged the wifi of Portswood's Trago Lounge (it being literally 30 seconds from my front door) to organise banking, bills, broadband... blah blah blah. But now I am all growned upped, I mustn't complain, as this is what womanhood contains: the organising of things. How very 1950. Luckily, this actually has nothing to do with my gender; closer to the case would be to say that I'm a massive control freak and I don't want others to do such things that could be so catastrophically ballsed up. But for the sake of my revelation, we'll ignore this. So now not only can I say that I am a woman, but perhaps I'd even go so far as to say a competent woman. Ironically, I just put an 'a' in 'competent' on first attempt, but I know plenty of women who cannot spell, so again, we'll ignore that blip.

I am just the type of woman I thought I would be. Highly strung with an exceptionally expressive face. So not much has changed from my girlhood days (which, for the record, is any time before Thursday). What also remains is my rate of reading literature. I thought, as a woman, I would have to cut down on my time spent reclusively languishing in my bedroom, head firmly in fiction, due to other mature responsibilities and exciting prospects but alas, I read almost all of Michael Cunningham's The Hours in a mere single sitting. And what a book it was. I loved it: Virginia Woolf astounds and absorbs me. Girlish awe or womanly admiration? Perhaps a bit of both. I moved swiftly on to Margaret Atwood's Surfacing and have got 50 pages in already. There's nothing better than a good read. But I digress.

Just one more week of shire living and earning before the fun and frollics of the Edinburgh experience begins. Until then, I am back under their roof, playing the role of daughter/child/'stroppy teenager'/baby. Not my favourite part but I can't play the woman all the time.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Neo-Nestle: Their Latest Sadistic Scam

A few years ago, a friend of mine linked me to a website which opened my eyes to the barbaric nature of Nestle. On reading, I was utterly horrified and vowed never to endorse the evil bastards again by giving them my money and I have stuck to this solidly (apart from one unintentional slip up in the form of a Fruit Pastel lolly which passed my unknowing lips).

This is what have as a suggested message for those trying to spread the word, like myself:

Take a minute to help stop Nestle's latest baby milk marketing scam.

You probably know about the Nestle boycott and the way Nestle pushes its baby milk around the world.

Nestle's latest global strategy is to promote its baby milk with the claim that it 'protects' babies, even though it knows babies fed on it are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die. Nestle is claiming its baby milk aids brain and eye development and supports the immune system. It has added prominent, colourful logos to product labels in 120 countries, undermining the obligatory 'breastfeeding is best for babies' warnings that the boycott campaign helped to bring in. Nestle is also targeting health workers to promote its claims.

Nestle's claims do not stand up to scrutiny and break the international marketing standards introduced by the World Health Assembly.

According to UNICEF: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year". As UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, governments and health campaigners try to spread the message that breastfeeding protects babies, Nestle is using its massive resources to try to convince mothers and health workers that its baby milk 'protects'.

For further information and a message that takes ONE MINUTE to send to Nestlé, see:

I feel like this can sum up the facts in a perfectly concise and cohesive way, something which I cannot do due to the sheer amount of effing and blinding that gets regurgitated onto the screen in front of me. I am a tad hot-headed when it comes to Nestle.

I would like to say that I cannot believe that there are human beings in this world who could do such an evil and twisted thing. Human beings with mothers whom they cuddle and old love letters and embarrassing moments and secret indulgences and pictures of themselves with no front teeth and sports day awards and cinema stubs and favourite smells and unique blemishes and old frayed underwear that they refuse to throw out.

But in such a materialistic world where time is money, land is money, love is money, sex is money, kicking a ball in a pair of shorts is more money than I will probably earn in my entire life, everything is fucking mullah, of course some of us are going to abuse our positions in order to gain more of these heavenly pieces of paper. Even at the cost of several million babies. But how do they get away with it? If you killed a single baby, the justice system would make you pay. But what about if thousands of people all help to kill millions of infants. How is that different? Those poor, poor mothers. They have no idea. I feel restless and useless.

Please send this email - it is written for you, all you need to do is literally press send.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Sex and the atroCity

I really should have started a blog months ago, that way all this nonsense would be relevant. But nay, I will continue to hark back, obsessed with past obscenities, looking no further forward than this dusty keypad.

I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. As quite an active feminist (President of the Southampton University Feminist Society, don'cha know), I don't know whether this unintentionally goes against my morals: I enjoy watching a troupe of materialistic, fashion-obsessed, 30/40 something women talk constantly about sex and men, disguising their desperateness under the facade of lavish careers and liberated sex while actually terminally comotosed to anything 'real' and unable to function without a male counterpart. Sounds like Loose Women.
Alternatively, I enjoy watching the chronicles of a fabulous set of females, emotionally responding with empathy and compassion to the woes and successes that each endure in their relationships, friendships, careers and eventually, family life. And the sheer amount of documented sex is both refreshing, honest and humorous. ... I'll claim the latter.

But Sex and the City 2 left a bad taste in my mouth. A taste of racial insensitivity, faux feminism and downright dystopia. Again, much like Loose Women.

The burka/chip eating incident was the first that made me cringe. Not to mention the ghastly rendition of Single Ladies from Liza Minnelli (a baggy jumper with fishnets and heels, clad with two identical backing dancers at least a quarter of her age... really Liza?) which brought my hands to my eyes. The ultimate definition of face/palm.

How on earth could the directors/producers/writers/whomever else involved think that what SATC2 needed was a taste of moral recognition and cultural 'shock'? The only shocking thing was that after Samantha practically stripped in the middle of a busy Muslim town and started throwing around condoms while gyrating and humping the air (crikey, feminists everywhere must have been jumping for joy...), she wasn't stoned. Now that would have been an ending with a twist.

Now, I'm no expert on middle eastern culture or religion but quite clearly, neither are they; they most certainly had no authority to make the grand and hugely judgemental statements that they did. The fact that the setting of the film, Abu Dhabi, refused to let them make the film there says it all. As a viewer we saw two Abu Dhabis, both seen through western spectacles - one that was materialistic and luxurious and one that repressed women beyond all recognition. Oh, apart from the Muslim women who all secretly wear Prada under their burkas, pray for a visit to New York and read trashy American novels about how to be happy of course. Because that is true happiness - western living.

SATC2 representation of the Muslim faith = FAIL.

I wish I could articulate my feelings as well as Andrew O'Hagan can - this is the most scathing and brilliant review I have read yet.

I know it was a million years ago but...

I'm still not quite over the whole meeting David Cameron thing. And I think the reason why is due to the way in which we see politicians in this country - it's like they are celebrities. I know it would be hard to have it any other way, them being in the limelight so frequently and at least we're not Italy but still, they seem to have that sort of 'fame' aura around them. I blame the press.

My beef with the conservatives is their general air of superiority. Being just a normal lass from a normal, working class background, having attended a normal comprehensive school, university was something that loomed over my family with great pride and ambition but also an element of unattainability. Not because we aren't bright enough, but because it is so bloody expensive. My parents couldn't afford to go; back "in their day", only the richest kids went and everyone else got a job. Hence why my father has now been building for 45 years. With potentially 10 more to go. My parents would never have let their finances get the better of me or my brother's futures, which is why they saved. Like crazy. And that's why I could go. That and government support.

But what scares me is that a government like the conservatives aren't going to be really petrified about the cap on tuition fees being loosened. I can't imagine it bothering them at all. So that means 7 or 8 grand a year. And with drastic cuts, who's to say that generous government support for poorer families will be so securely kept in place? I'm already there, this won't affect me. But other families I know could be affected. University should be offered to anyone from any background - merit over money. Whether that means the government putting their hands in their pockets to help some bright sparks out or not, it shouldn't make a difference. My parents have worked public sector jobs all their lives; it's nice to know that some of the money they have given is coming back our way.

I anxiously await the cuts to be imposed. Don't forget about the little guy, George.

The Initial Ramble

Well, this is all very exciting.
I have never blogged before but I doubt I will ever have more free time in my life to blog than I currently do, so now seems a good time to begin. Of course, when I am an unemployed, broke, English graduate I will have all the time in the world, but what if The Observer call me on graduation day to say 'Chlo, we'll jet you off to Bangkok tomorrow to start your fabulous travel writing career, yes?' ... well, that's why I should start now. Just in case.

This summer I am quite the busy bee; moving house, rehearsing for the Edinburgh Fringe, performing at said festival and serving more fish and chips than you've had hot dinners. What a hoot. Expect garbled anecdotes from all the above.